Posts Tagged ‘Hume Fogg Magnet’

This week is guaranteed to go by quickly as every day is filled with some sort of literary event, including my own reading on April 15 at Winder Binder/A Novel Idea on the North Shore in Chattanooga.

In honor of a week that’s certain to be as glorious as it is exhausting, I will be posting an excerpt or short work by each author I plan on seeing during the week.

I’m starting with Mr. Bill Brown.  Brown will be reading as part of a group of Southern poets at 2 p.m., Sunday April 17, at Winder Binder/A Novel Idea.

Mr. Brown was my creative writing and English teacher for two years at Hume-F0gg High School in Nashville. I have had many teachers and professors who have made it possible for me to be where I am today in my writing, but Mr. Brown was the first to show me what words can really do – not just his, but mine. As I’ve been reconnected with him professionally over the past few years, I’ve been struck by how much his poetry and ways of seeing influenced my own work.  Now, for your reading pleasure, two poems by Bill Brown.  If you like them, for pete’s sake, buy one of his books. You won’t be disappointed.

What the Night Told Me

The owl and whipporwill know this well

that while the world sleeps, earth

still swings around the sun

the sun in its slow death

swirls a broader arc

and light rushes toward

the red fringe of something

and the moon for which they sing

drags each sea with a whip

Weasel and snake know this well

that rock and limb do not reveal

their shadow in the night

the warm blood of a rat

can be sensed without

the distraction of light

a prey’s shriek is swallowed by darkness

only man clutches his mate

when the talons of owl surprise

the silent rabbit, its scream

does not keep the raccoon

from watching that great horned

drag its soft catch across the sky

Worms and maggots know this well

that rot feeds on darkness

the source of all light

is decay, the cool glow

of foxfire thrives on dead wood

polished bones glare at night

and only reflect

what they cannot keep.

from What the Night Told Me, Copyright 1993, Bucksnort Press

Okay, now one from his latest book The News Inside, which is currently available on amazon.com

The Melting

There should be hope in the leaves’ first turning –

summer green fringed gold and crimson, webbed

hands reaching out against the curtain’s blue.

Winter and what it takes from the heart

is almost worth it. Year by blessed year,

in the shortened days, something is stolen

that cannot be reclaimed – a swelling in the chest

when night comes soon. At a certain age

a man takes a season’s beginnings, the small

beauties – frozen rings on creek rocks,

the first skein of ice in the horse trough.

He holds it to the morning sun and it burns

his palm as it drips through his fingers.

Each year he grips it tighter

to see his face melt in the fire.

from The News Inside, Copyright 2010, Iris Press


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